Pakistan humiliated New Zealand in the third and final Twenty20 international in Christchurch today as the Black Caps slumped to their lowest total yet in the game’s shortest form.
New Zealand collapsed spectacularly, chasing Pakistan’s 183 for six, with the top four batsmen all dismissed for ducks as the tourists shrugged off the form slump that saw them lose the first two matches of the three-match series.
Scott Styris was the only New Zealander to offer any resistance, scoring 45 off 34 balls as Abdul Razzaq and Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi tore through the batting line-up.
None of his team-mates reached double figures, dispelling the optimism that lifted the New Zealand camp after coach John Wright’s appointment before the series.
New Zealand’s total of 80 after 15.5 overs was its lowest in Twenty20 internationals and Pakistan’s 103-run winning margin was the largest yet between two Test-playing nations.
Afridi had said he wanted to set an imposing target after winning the toss and electing to bat on a dry wicket.
His batsmen backed him up with a sparkling display.
Openers Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez went after New Zealand’s bowlers from the outset, scoring at a rate of almost 10 per over for a partnership of 81 to give Pakistan their best start of the series.
Shehzad threw off the shackles and raced to 27 after three overs, punishing short-pitched deliveries from 18-year-old New Zealand paceman Adam Milne.
He was similarly dismissive when Tim Southee was called into the attack, hitting four boundaries off his first over.
Hafeez made 34 from 23 balls before mistiming a wide pitched delivery from James Franklin and falling to a leaping one-handed catch from Ross Taylor.
Abdul Razzaq also pitched in with 34 not out, then took three wickets for 13 in a man-of-the-match performance.
Afridi led from the front, snaring four for 14, including the dogged Styris.
New Zealand fell apart in reply and were four wickets down for three runs in the third over.
Any hopes the home side had for a miracle were dashed when Styris went lbw to Afridi in the 14th over.
The teams will next play two Test matches in January, followed by six one-day internationals.